First, I do want to get the chance to say Merry Christmas! I truly mean that, and truly hope that everyone has a peaceful holiday filled with love.
Now, my original intent was to read all of one of the Gospels, to dovetail with Christmas and to end my string on Bible books for the moment (after my previous run on Genesis over the last few weeks). Then last Friday happened. On Saturday, I had the thought of putting up an extra blog about it all. Then I talked to Dave. Then I changed my mind. Then I changed my mind again. And then again.
Then earlier, I went to go and re-read one of the Gospels (the Gospels comprising Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), specifically either Matthew or Luke, which are the two that deal with the birth of Christ. Mark starts after Jesus is a grown man. I started reading and my brain started going.
In the days after last Friday’s shootings and 28 deaths, 20 of them small children, many people automatically went to a battle position on one of three things, I believe strongly in order to not have to really focus on the fact that TWENTY SIX YEAR OLDS DIED. Those issues? Gun control. Mental illness. And God in schools. I have an opinion on the first, very strong feelings on the second. However, I won’t be sharing those things. I wanted to address the last thing. Anyone with a facebook account, unless you don’t have many friends at all and they are all atheists, probably saw a meme in the last week. It showed a tshirt with something like “Dear God. Why did you let this happen? God: Because I’m not allowed in schools”. It amazed me how many people I saw putting it up. And it, quite frankly, pissed me off.
To me, there are two different interpretations that I could see for this “slogan”, both of which are ridiculous.
1. God can’t help anyone in schools, since prayer is no longer allowed. Therefore, once kids are through the doors, God can’t protect any of them.
Uh. Hm. Well, apparently people that are going to church are snoozing during the scripture readings and the sermons.
Just in Genesis, there are so many examples of God being all powerful. Would the deity that kicked His creation out of the Garden of Eden, barring the way with angels with blazing swords wait at a school’s door for people to come out so He could be in their lives for after school? Would the deity that drowned the whole word except for Noah and his family stand outside a school door because He’s been told His name can’t be spoken stand at the door? Would He, who destroyed whole cities really stand at the door waiting for school to let out? Are you kidding me?
I also think that the 150,000 or so Christians losing their lives each year (and the thousands of others being persecuted and jailed) in Communist and Islam countries might be a little surprised at that concept of God. Go here.
“If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You” (Psalm 139:8,12a).
See, direct Biblical support that no matter WHERE you are, God is with you.
And for those that prefer New Testament proof:
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
God is everywhere, even in the depths of hell. Therefore, the argument that the Connecticut murders happened because God wasn’t allowed in the school falls.
For this to go even further, I’d have to start assuming that people believe that schools can now mind control their students and teachers who are Christian. I can guarantee that anyone in that school on Friday with a belief in God was praying. I’m sure that in that school, or any school for that matter, on normal days God probably receives all sorts of prayers ranging from:
“Please let me pass this test.” to “Please help me to not scream like a madwoman at my class today”.
The second interpretation I can see from this is that because we no longer allow prayer in school and stories about God/Jesus, people are being leeched of all sense of right and wrong, thereby creating atmospheres where people start thinking it’s ok to shoot and KILL people.
Again, anyone that believes along these lines, apparently has never been very interested in any sort of history about other cultures, any sort of information on other religions, or actually any sort of interest in any part of humanity.
C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity even addresses this as part of his proof that the Christian God does exist. I’m quoting one small part of it, but am linking it to the chapter online that I pulled it from:
I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent behaviour known to all men is unsound, because different civilisations and different ages have had quite different moralities.
“But this is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own.”
In case you want to read it.
I can hear the protestation now, “But Kim, what about the Nazis? Hitler was godless”.
Yes. Hitler was godless. However, the country of Germany was _not_ Godless, in fact there was a very strong faith there, with Lutheranism being almost required of all. Now church attendance or membership doesn’t necessarily guarantee godliness…however! There are sooo many factors that went into how Hitler came into power, how Hitler stayed in power, and how what happened to the Jews began and escalated, that it’s a little simplistic to just say “oh he didn’t allow prayer in school”.
So, to me, that interpretation is wrong as well. People, no matter what belief structure they have, KNOW right from wrong. I know plenty of atheists, agnostics and pagans (meaning they actually do worship other gods, not just are hippies), and I strongly believe that I don’t know a single one who would willingly take a human life. There have been plenty acting under the guise of the Church throughout history who _have_ willingly taken a human life.
The whole God not allowed in school thing is just so asinine. It makes me want to cry, actually all of the little debates here and there do. I strongly believe that it allows us to remove ourselves from the tragedy enough that we just don’t have to _really_ think about the fact that TWENTY school children died and EIGHT adults died, murdered, shot down.
Take a moment. Take a moment and send a thought or a prayer or just a wish towards the survivors of Friday’s murders, forget about the debates swirling around right now and focus on THEM. At this moment, I doubt they care about gun control laws. I doubt they care about the state of mental health in this country. I doubt they care about whether God’s name was allowed to be said that morning before school began.
No. I’m pretty sure they care about getting through a Christmas without the excitement that they were expecting from their child. I’m pretty sure they care about how to keep the holiday good for their remaining children. I’m pretty sure they care about the fact that their child is being put in a six foot hole. That’s what they care about. And for just a moment, we should care about that right along with them.